By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
CAIRO — Town officials are forging ahead on developing a master plan for the redesign and renovation of Angelo Canna Town Park.
Design work is being done by Barton & Loguidice, an engineering, planning, environmental and landscape architecture firm based in Albany.
A master plan is a formal document that assists communities in developing plans for parks and other open spaces, and identifies the goals of the community, according to the master plan.
Cairo’s master plan for the park looked at existing resources in the park, including sports fields, walking paths, trails, the playground and gathering areas, as well as constraints at the park, such as poor drainage in areas, overgrown segments of the park, a deteriorating basketball court and limited parking facilities, among others.
The firm worked with the town to conduct a public online survey over the fall to gauge how local residents currently use the park and what they would like to see there in the future. The town board also held public meetings about the park’s master plan in August.
According to the online survey, residents cited walking as their most frequent use of the park, with 194 responses. The second most often cited use for the park was the playground, with 112 respondents. Social events, dog walking, creek access and relaxation were the next most-often cited reasons for using the park. Respondents were able to select as many choices as they liked.
An upgraded playground, with inclusive equipment to accommodate all youngsters, was the amenity the largest number of people would like to see at the park, with 102 responses. Additional restrooms were a close second with 97 responses, following by a walking loop, ice skating rink and improved lighting, according to the survey. Respondents were able to select their top five preferences for amenity improvements.
The master plan cites 20 proposed projects for the park, including an improved playground area and repurposed multi-sport court, new fitness loop, site drainage improvements and improved vehicle circulation — including the roadway into the park and improved parking facilities.
Other proposed projects include upgraded pedestrian walkways, new overlooks and creek access, and expanded bathrooms, along with a new performance area for community events, upgrades to the dog park, and a spray park for youngsters.
Now that the town has identified what improvements are needed and what local residents would like to see at the park, funding has to be secured to pay for it.
The master plan, which is available online on the town’s website, cites potential funding sources including grants from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Connect Kids to Parks Field Trip Grant Program; the U.S. Department of Transportation; Parks and Trails New York; the Hudson River Valley Greenway; Hudson River Estuary Program, and others.